Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats

The town is essentially a place of activity. There one can work fruitfully during the height of one's powers. There also one can live fully when one has the energy to do so. But, as one begins to feel one's age, or as sickness brings warning signs of physical troubles, then one begins to think of retirement, in a very literal sense of the word, to the village. (12, p. 220)
The constant flow of the city dwellers back to the villages for visits and their eventual retirement there keeps the inhabitants of villages well informed of urban life. "Rural Ghanaians look upon the large towns as the sources from which the new patterns of living will come to an extent that would astonish rural residents in many developed countries." This is not to say that no differences are perceived between rural and urban life. More than four fifths of the respondents in both the rural and the urban surveys said that village life is more "manageable" than town life and nearly two thirds of each group believed that town life "corrupts." But such judgments do not deny the attractiveness of town life. More than four fifths of respondents in both rural and urban areas agreed with the statement, "male migration is a good thing." While rural-urban contacts in Ghana probably are of an intensity not likely to be matched in many other developing countries, I would maintain that the general pattern holds, whereby the migrant is the link between town and country.
This review of migrant selectivity has been restricted in various ways. We have not concerned ourselves with all forms of internal migration, for our focus has been on migration to the large cities of developing countries. It also has been restricted to the late adolescent and adult population and has been concerned mainly with male migration.
Whatever else has been accomplished in this survey, it should be clear that migrant selectivity is inherently a complex phenomenon. Ideally, one needs extensive data on migrants and nonmigrants in both the communities or origin and of destination. By this criterion, few if any studies tell us all we would like to know about migrant selectivity. Not only are differences between migrants and nonmigrants difficult to establish unequivocally, but the fact that migrant selectivity patterns may change is very important. Here we can echo Bogue (54)
. . . migration can be highly selective with respect to a given characteristic in one area and be selective, to only a mild degree, or not at all, in another area. If the selectivity of migration can vary in both pattern and intensity between different places, it is equally plausible that it can vary between different periods of time. Hence it is fruitless to seek permanent inflexibleo embrace town life so exclusively as to be adjusted to the town only; rather is their adjustment one to both town and village. They have a cyclical view of their lives which demands a beginning and an end in the village but which is satisfied and even happy to enjoy an extensive urban experience in the interim. . . .backgrounds. They are the group who must make the (rreatest adjustment in stvlp. of livino nnH tVip.rpfnrp nrp nrp«nmali1\/ m^et inhe predominantly male rural-urban migration, in the multilingual character of the society, in the existence of polygamy, and